Vision Zero: EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030
European Commission welcomes United Nations Stockholm Declaration on Road Safety
On 19 and 20 February 2020, government delegates from more than 80 countries discussed how to improve global road safety in the next decade. During the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Swedish Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth presented the Stockholm Declaration, stressing the need for continued ambition in particular by working towards a new global fatality reduction target, as the current target expires this year. The document provides guidance up to 2030, focussing on international cooperation to improve road safety on a global level, notably in those regions where fatality rates are still especially high.
The European Commission welcomes the Stockholm Declaration, which reinforces the EU’s own ‘Vision Zero’ aspirations: the EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030 aims at halving the number of fatalities and serious injuries on European roads by 2030, as a milestone on the way to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.
In her opening remarks at the conference, Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “Road traffic crashes kill too many people, and what worries me the most is the fact that they are the biggest killer of young people worldwide. We can no longer accept the unacceptable. I consider it is our duty to find solutions to improve road safety and we must act now, at local, European and global level. If we want to show leadership, we first need to embrace change. We cannot continue doing the same things and expect different results.”
The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety was co-sponsored by the government of Sweden and the World Health Organization (WHO). Road Safety is also included in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with the target to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road crashes by 2030.
Liability for icy roads in Europa
The owner body has obligations such as maintenance and custody. When an accident occurs, the public administration or the ground landlord will be presumed responsible. However, the owner of the road will be able to release himself from liability, what must be assessed case-by-case. If the investigation reveals that it was impossible to safeguard the asset, it will not be required to compensate any damage.
The mayor of any municipality is responsible for the normal maintenance of all roads. He is also responsible for the reasonable operation of local road police authority. In case of an accident, the claimant can argue that the municipality did not ensure the normal maintenance or that the police did by gross negligence not accomplish the reasonable measures in order to prevent an accident because of icy road surface. But in many cases, French courts reject demands because of own fault of the victim or they reduce at least the compensation because of self-contribution to the accident.
Municipalities and property owners have a duty to secure traffic. In winter there is an obligation to clear and scatter. However, this is limited to what is reasonable and also limited from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Sundays and public holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Road users generally have their own responsibility and have to adapt to the circumstances. If an accident occurred, pedestrians and car drivers are often counted towards joint liability, which may well be 50% or more.
In case of an accident, the municipality or the road administration authority can be held liable for fault and negligence, if the own insurance of the claimant does not cover fully the damage. Roads are cleared from snow according to their importance.